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FAQ

Technical Support Frequently Asked Questions Automotive

General Automotive Instrument Systems FAQ's

If I disconnect the battery will I lose all my settings?

No, our instrument systems have built in flash memory, calibration settings will be retained. The clock, however, will be reset with each loss of constant power.

The turn signals on my HDX/RTX gauges don’t activate, even in DEMO mode, what is wrong?

In the Setup menu, navigate to DISPLAYS select TURN REMIND and set to GAUGE. This will activate the turn signals within the gauge face. If OEM is selected it will turn off the gauge face indicators.
How do I change the settings on my instrument system?

All settings are made within the setup menu.
• Within the VFD3, VHX and RTX Series: SWITCH 1 (SW1) needs to be pressed WHILE turning on the key. Once the key is on, you may release the switch (SW1).
• With the HDX Series: both switches are held simultaneously for setup menu access.
For a full manual which contains the set menu option list more detail, access this from the Technical Support section of this website.
I’d like to display some extra information in my instrument system, but I don’t want to add a bunch of extra gauges, is that possible?

This is very possible, our BIM Series of expansion modules is designed to exactly that. This video will provide an overview of what is possible:
YouTube: BIM Additional Readings
What size wire do I need to use for the instrument cluster installation?

20 AWG is sufficient for most wiring. However, 18 AWG wire is recommended if running the fuel sender wiring so the resistance of the wire will not affect the fuel ohms reading.

Can I put my gauge cluster into DEMO mode, for display at an event, or testing purposes?
 

Yes.
• On VFD and VHX System with the key turned off, press and hold Switch #2. While holding Switch #2, turn the key ON this. To go back to normal operation, simply turn the key off.
• For HDX and RTX Series, the DEMO Mode can be accessed directly through the setup menu or via the Dakota Digital Automotive app (for iOS and Android).

Can I mount my control box in the engine compartment?

The control box needs to be mounted inside the cabin of the vehicle, out of the elements. Additionally, it should be mounted away from the ignition coil or ignition module to avoid potential interference from the high voltage output they produce.

Do I need to be concerned about moisture getting into my control box?

Mount your control box inside the cabin of the vehicle away from AC ducts, which can cause condensation. Additionally, inspect the cowl and underdash area for any sign of previous moisture leaks, addressing those before mounting the control box. Finally, finish off your installation with a “Drip Loop” on all wires running into your control box. This will avoid moisture from following the wiring into the control box connections.
Can the Gear Shifter Position be displayed inside of my gauge cluster?

Yes, all Dakota Digital full instrument systems include a gear shift indicator for Automatic transmissions. To utilize this function, just add the GSS-3000. This popular addition is described in this video:
YouTube: GSS-3000 Gear Shift Sender
Do I need to install the switch assembly that came with my VFD3/VHX/RTX gauges?

Yes, the switches are needed to enter the setup, perform calibration and access normal-use functionality. The switches should be installed so they are easily accessible by the driver.

Connect the red wire to “SW1 (-)” and the green or white wire to “SW2 (-)” terminal on the control module. The black wire should be connected to the “ADJ –“ terminal on the control box.
How do I set the clock on my instrument system?

To set the clock, there is no need to enter the setup menu, this can be done through normal operation.
1. Tap the control switch until the clock is display
2. Hold Switch #2 until the hour begins to flash
3. Tap to change the hours.
4. Hold to save the hours and the advance to the minute selection.
5. Repeat this process, with a 2 second hold, to save your time selection.
For additional information, view Dakota Digital’s video, ”Setting the Clock on Dakota Digital Instruments”  
YouTube: Setting The Clock
What is included in the instrument system package?

All instrument systems will contain a display head, control module as well as sensors and harnesses for each. For additional information, view Dakota Digital’s video “Unboxing a Dakota Digital Instrument System”
YouTube: Unboxing Video
The switches on my HDX gauges don’t move when I try to push them. Are they stuck?

The Dakota Digital HDX series gauges come with “Integrated Capacitive Touch Switches” just the touch of your finger activates the switch.
HDX Switches
I have a number of indicator lights (icons) that show up on my gauges, what do they mean?

The chart below shows the indicators that are within the face of each instrument system.

How can I change the brightness of the gauge cluster at night?

All Dakota Digital instrument systems allow for programmable lighting intensity through the setup menu. With full digital systems (VFD3), the lighting will remain at full intensity during daylight hours and is programmable at night (when the headlights are activated). With analog systems (VHX, HDX and RTX), the backlighting brightness can be configured for both day and night operation. The DIM-1 provides rotary control of any backlight intensity, when the headlights are activated. This video provides an in-depth look at the backlight brightness options:
Night Dimming Video

Can I control my gauges, or set them up wirelessly?

The HDX and RTX Series can be easily configured for wireless control. Download the Dakota Digital App on your Apple or Android tablet, then take a look at this how-to video:
Connecting the App Video

 Speedometer FAQ's

May I shorten the wires from my speed sensor harness?

Yes, wire length will not affect the speedometer readings. Soldering and heat shrinking the extension harness is the recommend, if lengthening is required. When routing this harness, take care to isolate this from ignition components or anything which induce electrical noise.

How do I calibrate the speedometer (AUTO CAL)?

If performing a SPEED CAL (AUTO CAL) within a VFD3, VHX or RTX System, the Switch #1 must be pressed while starting the engine, allowing entrance into the setup menu. Once the engine is running the, Switch #1 may be released, navigating to the AUTO CAL selection.

With HDX Systems, press and hold Switch #1 and #2 at the same time to enter the setup menu.

When calibrating the Speedometer, AUTO CAL states to drive 1 mile, however my gauges were built in a metric configuration (KM/H), how far do I drive?

1 Kilometer will be driven to in the AUTO CAL mode.
My speed sensor has 3 wires where do I hook them up on my control box?

The black wire connects to “SPD-“, the White wire to “SPD SND” and the Red wire to “SPD +”
620005

I have a 2 wire VSS sensor where do I hook up the wires on my control box?

Connect one wire to “SPD –“, the other one to “SPD SND”, it does not matter which wire enters which location.
OE VSS

Can I use just a single wire out of my ECU/ECM or TCU Speed Output for my speed signal?

Yes, just connect your wire up to the “SPD SND” terminal on the control module.
ECU ECM

I have a 2 wire pulse generator for my speed signal, where do I hook the wires to my control box?

Connect the Black wire to “SPD –“and the White wire to “SPD SND” on the control module.
Pulse Generator

Is my Speedometer GPS?

All Dakota Digital speedometers are GPS-Ready, meaning they are prepared for connection with a GPS speed sensor, such as our GPS-50-2, allowing any speedometer to utilize GPS technology. Furthermore, Dakota Digital full instrument systems manufactured since 2011 provide even more functionality with the GPS-50-2, displaying the compass heading, elevation and keeping a clock synced with the satellite data.

 Tachometer FAQ's

Where do I get a tach signal for my gauges I just installed in my Diesel engine vehicle?

For a Diesel application, you will generally need to purchase a Dakota Digital SGI-100BT, which can be done right from dakotadigital.com. For OBD II applications, our BIM-01-2 is another which may expedite the installation and provide some further benefits in your scenario.

I have a HEI Distributor, can I get my Tach signal off of it for my control box?
 

Yes, run a single wire from Tach Terminal on the HEI Distributor to the “TACH” input on your control module. Add a second wire from the “BAT” terminal on the HEI Distributor to a key on switched 12V supply.
Distributer

Which terminal on my ignition coil do I use for my Tach signal?

Run a wire from the negative post of the coil to “TACH” on the control module.
Negative OF Coil
My ECU/ECM has a Tachometer output wire, can I use this?

Yes, just route this single wire to the “TACH” terminal on the control module.

I have an MSD Ready to Run distributor, can the tachometer connect to this?

Find the gray wire on your distributor and simply run that directly to the “TACH” input on your control module.
MSD Ready-to-run Distributer

I have a MSD 6A/ 6AL ignition module in my car does it have a tach signal I can hook to my control box?

Yes, on one end of the MSD ignition module will be an output marked “TACH OUTPUT”.  Route a wire from there to the “TACH” input on your control box.  With MSD digital modules, the MSD 8920 Adaptor may be required.
MSD 6A Box

 Fuel Level FAQ's

Do I need to run a dedicated ground to the control box or gauge from my fuel sender?

Not always.  As long as the sender is properly grounded at the tank, a dedicated ground is not required. If you have troubles with the gauge reading 999 ohms in (SETUP/FUEL/TEST), run a twisted pair from “FUEL SND” and “FUEL –" terminal of the control module.. If you have terminals labeled “S” & “I” on your sender, disconnect the wire from “I” terminal, select 63VET in the fuel sensor selection, within the setup menu.

How do I know what fuel sender I have in my vehicle?

The chart below gives a list of the most common senders and will cover most all vehicle applications. The FUEL TEST mode found in most Dakota Digital instrument systems can also help to narrow this down. For more information, view the video ”Fuel Sensor Setup”.

SENDER TYPEMENUEMPTY RFULL R
Chrysler - typically uses a 73-10 ohmF 1073 ohms10 ohms
GM 0-30 ohm (mid 50's - mid 60's)GM 300 ohms30 ohms
GM 0-90 ohm (mid 60's - late 90's)GM 900 ohms90 ohms
GM 40-250 ohm (late 90's - later)GM 25040 ohms249 ohms
GM 90-0 (63-67 Corvette)63 VET90 ohms0 ohms
FORD 73-10 ohm (earlier 60's - late 80's)F 1073 ohms10 ohms
FORD 20-150 ohm (late 80's - later)F 15020 ohms150 ohms
VDO 10-180 ohmV 18010 ohms180 ohms
SW/SUN 33-240SW 33240 ohms33 ohms
User programmed (preset for 118-4 ohms)CUSTOMUser settableUser settable

 Oil Pressure / Water Temperature FAQ's

Is it OK to lengthen the wires for the Oil Pressure and Water Temperature?

Yes, wire length will not affect the Oil Pressure or Water Temperature readings. Soldering and heat shrinking the extension harness is the recommend, if lengthening is required. When routing this harness, take care to isolate this from ignition components or anything which induce electrical noise.

Can I replace the stock senders for water and oil in my LS motor with yours?

Generally not. Most computers will need to see the signal from the stock senders. You can install our senders along with the stock senders, or consider our BIM-01-2 to get SPEED, TACH, ENGINE TEMP, OIL PSI (3-wire sender required) and other information from the OBD II diagnostic port.

Can I use my stock Oil Pressure and Water Temp sender, or “T” into these wires to share with the computer?

It is recommended to use the supplied Dakota Digital sensors. This ensures correct readings and reduces the risk of component damage.

My display is giving me error codes of “EE”, “--“and “85” what do they mean?

Diagnostic codes are built within all Dakota Digital instrument systems, assisting in the troubleshooting process.

Water Sender (resistive based)
EE = open circuit
-- = shorted sender or signal wire is shorted to ground

Oil (voltage based)
-- = open circuit (no power or signal wire is open)
85 = ground wire is disconnected or open

Fuel (resistive based)
EE = open circuit or wrong sender selected
-- = shorted sender or signal wire shorted to ground

I have a Small Block Chevy and the oil pressure sender doesn’t fit, do I need a different sender?

No, this can be a simple relocation of the sensor. At your local hardware store, pick up a short 1/8” NPT pipe with a 45 or 90 degree elbow. Depending upon your scenario, this will provide the proper clearance.
Relocated Sender
Does it matter where I mount my water temp sender?

It is recommended to mount your temp sender in the water flow exiting the engine near the thermostat. This will give you the most accurate reading; cylinder head mounting locations tend to read higher.
Where should the water temp sender be placed on my LS engine?

The LS motor will have an available port on the rear of the passenger side cylinder head. This location uses a 12mm threading, so the included 1/8” NPT to 12mm bushing will be utilized for simple fitment.  This video will show you this process:
SEN-04-5 Install Video

Do I need to bleed my cooling system in my car after installing my Temp Sender?

In order to get the most accurate temp readings it is recommended to bleed your system of any air. This will ensure that your sender is in constant contact with the water in your cooling system. To bleed your system, remove the radiator cap and squeeze the radiator hose to release the air.  Top off your coolant and repeat as needed. If you have braided hoses that can’t be squeezed, remove the radiator cap, place a funnel in the radiator and fill with coolant and the run the engine. This will release any trapped air and replace it with coolant.

 Fan Controller FAQ's

I have PAC-2750/2800BT, can I hook up and control more than one fan or a dual speed fan?

Yes, the PAC-2750 & PAC-2800BT can control a single fan, dual speed fan or two separate fans.  Below is a diagram which indicates how these connections will be made.
Fan Wiring Diagram

Can I mount my fan controller in the engine compartment?

The fan controller needs to be mounted inside the cabin of the vehicle, out of the elements.  Additionally, it should be mounted away from the ignition coil or ignition module to avoid potential interference from the high voltage output they produce.

Can I use the app to control the PAC-2800BT?

The Dakota Digital Accessories app can make installation a breeze!  Here is an overview of the process:
PAC-2800bt Fan Controller Video

 Cruise Control FAQ's

My Cruise Control will not engage, I have LED taillights and your Cruise Control, do I need an extra relay?

Yes, you will need to add a relay with pin 87A tied to ground. When the brake is depressed, it will activate the relay and remove the ground connection and disengage the cruise control. Our RLY-1 is a simple solution.
Relay Wiring

How will I configure the setup switches on my new Cruise Control kit?

The Cruise control requires some post-installation setup and configuration, allowing it to perform well in each scenario.  This video guides you through the full installation process:
Cruise Control Video


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